Monday, December 13, 2010

Alisa Durbrow Models Wedding Dresses, and Lands A Role In Musica!l

She's finally back after a long time with a new agent! Alisa Durbrow (Mio Kuroki in PGSM) has landed a leading role in a musical production called “Shinsaku GO!JET!GO!GO!ZERO”, which is a 90-minute show scheduled to run from December 18-December 26, 2010. Right now she is working very hard attending rehearsal lessons to nail down the song and dance routines, as she has had only two weeks of preparation time before her debut performance. There are three different groups performing this musical, and Alisa is part of the "B" Group. On the official page, anywhere that you see a , this means that after the shows there will be a fan event where fans can meet all of the stars that performed that day! For more details check out the top of her blog. She posted an entry few days ago, writing that she had some trouble dancing since she hadn't danced for a long time and that practicing at home was a little hard (but we know she can do it!). Alisa's fans will definitely not want to miss her acting in this musical! We managed to find an old trailer on YouTube from an earlier production of the musical that fans can watch here. Alisa is grateful for the support her fans have given her as they have helped her gain this role! She also sends her regards to all of her fans overseas! We here at Moon Chase send our biggest congratulations to Alisa and "Ganbatte" for this musical and beyond! Special thanks to the Durbrow family for telling us about this musical!

Alisa has also been modeling wedding dresses for Hula Creative Japan, a business that specializes in wedding and special occasion photos. She models a short dress and a beautiful pink orchid bouquet and headband all over the site, and some photos even feature her with a "pretend husband". Alisa is the most stylish of all the model brides with her bouquet and cowboy boots! Hula Creative Japan offers lots of different packages for wedding dresses and kimonos (both of which are part of Japanese weddings). She is also modeling dresses for the December issue of Japan's biggest wedding magazine, Zexy (Shikoku Edition only).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Idol's New Album Just For Mothers and Daughters!

Former Morning Musume member Nozomi Tsuji released her first solo album in Japan last week, geared especially towards mothers and daughters! Minna Happy! Mama no Uta (Everybody's Happy! Mama's Songs) is a cover album of anime theme songs from Nozomi's childhood. Included on the album is (of course) the Sailor Moon theme song, as well as songs from My Neighbor Totoro, Chibi Maruko-Chan, and Anpanman. She has also released her own song on the album, "Chibi Devil" and fans can watch a music video for that here!

While this news may seem like small potatoes, we're reporting this for the simple reason that we're a little irked. There's no Sailor Moon merchandise available in Japan except for the DVD boxsets and manga. When Sailor Moon's resurgence began in Japan, the Japanese press release all stated that this was going to be a chance for mothers to enjoy this with a new generation of fans - their daughters. All there was to celebrate this resurgence was a cooking class and a DVD launch event reuniting the 5 main stars of the show. Nozomi Tsuji's album with it's brief hint of Sailor Moon seems to be the only other thing that mothers can do to enjoy the series with their daughters (aside from watching the episodes on DVD or on ANIMAX). But where are the dolls? Where are the costumes and clothes? Somehow, we think that this lack of merchandise means that the kids of this generation won't be able to connect the same way that we did with the show, and that some of the experiences that the mothers probably want to share with their daughters related to Sailor Moon might be missed out on this time around.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Halloween 2010: A Story of Cosplay and Crafts

Hey Moonies, sorry for being a bit late getting this put together for you. Between waiting to see if we would get a few more submissions and real life getting a bit hectic for a while, there was just no time for me to post.

Without further ado, we present your Halloween stories!

Daniel writes:

ok so ever since i was little i always loved sailor moon. I lived in Portugal at the time, and the dub there included ALL 200 episodes, and sailor moon S was always my favourite season. I loved it so much, and i loved the crisis transformation the most, so i decided that i wanted the Holy grail for myself. At first i searched for an official one, but since this was 2009, they were 200-300 dollars AND the werent brand new. So i afterwards i searched thorugh youtube and the net for someone that could make one themselves. I saw many handmade ones but none were close to the original- so i got my butt over to micheals and bought materials to make my the time i finished it, it was close to halloween so i decided-why not get some of my friends to dress as Sailor Moon ?...sadly none of my friends are sailor moon fans like me so i finished it and said "hey why not make it a pumpkin top?" now i have a mini pumpkin thats ready to be carved and if the weather here isn't too windy i will put the grail on top of the pumkin (:
For the design on the pumpkin, i am thinking of doing a moon designed like sailor moons (: or maybe even a black cat with a moon for Luna (:

Liz writes:
I really should have cut some bangs into my hair but I'm pretty scared of changing my hair style. Perhaps by next Halloween/NYCC I'll do it.
Anyway, this costume cost me 50 or more dollars to make since I used high quality spandex and crepe, and well over 20 hours to construct it since I made a rough draft out of really cheap fabric before I used the good stuff. :-D I <3 Sailor Mars. I think I'm going to make her seifuku for next year.

Juan writes:
Well I had read your article earlier that day and we were going to carve pumpkins that night. I have a picture of sailor moon as my desktop background (I'll attach it for you) with her possing in front of the full moon. I could totally envision what it would look like on a pumpkin so I said "heck why not." I printed out a copy of the picture and taped it the front of the pumpkin trying to get it as close to the surface as possible so as to get a good likeness of her. I knew I wanted to cut out the white parts from the picture so that all that would be left would be the image of sailor moon. I started by VERY carfully and slowly cutting along the line and this worked for a little bit, but soon the juice from the pumpkin started making the picture a little soggy. So it was suggested to me that I should use a needle to poke holes through the cutting lines making a pre-cut line that could be seen even without the paper. I had my sister poke the holes and I cut out the rest of it trying pay close attention to detail. In the end, after a while of hard work, we have the image of sailor moon, her head is attached to the top of the circle so it is rather delicate. Needless to say, I kept the pumpkin. :)

Ashlei writes:
Sailor Saturn has been my favorite scout since I was younger, and this year was actually the first year I've ever dressed up for Halloween. So why not choose my favorite? I used a bunch of pictures of Saturn from Google to make the costume, from the anime series to cosplayers. For the tiara, I used gold wired fabric with an elastic band attached. It stayed well. I actually bought the star from southernmooncreation's Etsy page. It's made of clear acrylic. And for the boots, I dyed a pair of white knee-high socks and used black puff paint to make the laces. I was just lounging around the house with my family on Halloween, so I decided to just wear socks instead of making boots.

A big thanks to Daniel, Liz, Juan and Ashlei for sharing your Halloween stories with us! And remember everyone, we're always happy to feature your creations, just drop us an email with a picture and a little about your creation at com[DOT]gmail[AT]moonchasers (just remember to flip it around the right way) and include "Fan Work" in the subject so it goes to the right place!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dicembre Saluti Dall Italiano Sailor Moon

Forgive me Italian Moonies, if my grammar is incorrect! Given that it is December, fans shouldn't really expect there to be any Earth-shattering Sailor Moon news by way of licenses yet. And there isn't much going on in Japan either, save for a mention of a Tuxedo Mask cosplayer at Japan Pop Culture Festival 2010. Italy is still swarming with news of Sailor Moon - a new commercial was uploaded yesterday from DYNIT advertising the upcoming release of the first boxset in January. Since many of you can't see it (and we managed to find a way to), we're going to describe the commercial for you. Images of the anime play against the Japanese theme song. It begins with images of Sailor Moon's nails becoming polished flashing between screens that say "Le Guerriere" (The Warrior) "Che Vestono Alla Marinaretta" (Dressed Like a Sailor) "Sono Tornate" (Has Returned)! And then we hear Cristina D'Avena's voice as Sailor Moon begins to transform. And then comes a screen advertising the uncensored release of Umino lifting up Haruna-Sensei's skirt. As other images of the opening play, more words say that the video is remastered, and for the first time that the episode prologues and previews will be included with Italian subtitles. These will be on a separate DVD (we're assuming, that the editors had some difficulties in lacing in the video for these previews and prologues since they were not dubbed with the regular episodes). Finally, Italian Moonies are going to get almost everything they missed out on the first time around (any of our readers in Italy heard anything new about the missing episode from R yet?). The important part to note, is that Naoko Takeuchi's name/ Princess Naoko Planning is featured twice in this commercial (and we are happy, that finally people are being consistent with their crediting to her). It first appears (we have shown you above) near the end of the commercial with the logos of DYNIT and Toei Animation, and then at the very end alongside the Sailor Moon logo. Below, we have a screenshot of what the collector's box is going to look like. We're not sure if that package just on top of the discs is what the 3-disc holder looks like, or if it is a booklet. The one on the right is the bonus DVD with all the prologues and previews. For those of you who are in Italy and have not watched the commercial yet, click here!

Oh yeah, and Sailor Moon is still doing well in the ratings in Italy, holding the #5 spot. It is holding a market share even higher than The Simpsons!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Level E Promotional Video!

The anime adaptation of Yoshihiro Togashi's Level E now has two official websites: one from Pierrot and another from TV Tokyo. The TV Tokyo site has a special treat for all you Level E fans that can't wait to see the anime - a promotional video featuring some teasers from the anime, as well as everyone's favorite idol, Shoko Nakagawa! Shokotan enters her dressing room over the voice of the narrator, Fumihiko Tachiki who says "Hundreds of kinds of aliens come and go to Earth and live". Shokotan, then turns into a long-tongued alien that is "giza" scary, and we see a preview of the anime. At the end of the video, Shokotan reverts from her alien to her human form, and leaves, ready to perform. We wonder if this could be a hint for who will be singing the theme song? Shokotan shot this during the most recent Jump Super Anime Tour, and was happy to be chosen to play an alien in this short. She hopes everyone will watch the anime when it airs on TV - we are sure all of Togashi's fans will watch it too!

(In other Shoko Nakagawa news, she was showing some of her old favorite video games on her blog, and look which one she chose for one of the entries!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What genre do you want the Sailor Moon Nintendo DS game to be?

If you remember some time back, it was revealed that Namco Bandai Europe was making a Sailor Moon video game for the Nintendo DS set to come out in Italy later this year. Unfortunately, with the supposed by-the-end-of-the-year release date rapidly approaching, neither screenshots, nor a trailer have surfaced. We don't even know what type of game it is. It could very easily mean that the game is going to be delayed.

In the past, Sailor Moon video games have been RPGs(Another Story on the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo), beat-em-ups(the arcade game), and fighting(Sailor Moon S on the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo) games. With no one knowing anything about this new Sailor Moon video game beyond the fact that it exists, I thought it would be fun to pose the question to you, the readers.

What genre do you want the Sailor Moon Nintendo DS game to be?

One of the genres from the above paragraph? An action/adventure game? Maybe a kart racer? Sailor Moon: Xtreme Beach Volleyball? Sound off in the comments section and let us know what you think. In the mean time, I'll keep an eye out for anything on the mystery game and report back when something turns up.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mimet Wins!

Hey Moonies! Tonight was the broadcast gala of the 25th Annual Gemini Awards in Canada, and our lone hope Sailor Moon nominee won! Catherine Disher (Mimet) won the Gemini for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series for her work as Maggie Norton on CBC's drama, The Border. Catherine has been nominated for this role for the last 3 years, so we are so glad she has finally gotten the recognition she deserves! For those of you who are Mimet fans that want to celebrate this occasion and do something for your favorite of the Witches 5, we have a special thread set up for you (members only) in our forums. Congratulations to Catherine Disher again and best of luck for continued success on The Border!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bandai Moves to Real Make-Up in Japan

Bandai Moves to Cosmetics?!

The beloved company Bandai, best known for making some of the best toys known to Otaku the world over is having a bit of a problem in today's economy. Sales of girls' toys just aren't what they used to be, and the company has had to come up with creative ways to keep the girls interested. And more than ever these days, girls want to feel more "grown up" and play with makeup over dolls. So what did they think of? Real cosmetics based on the popular anime and manga series, Nodame Cantabile. Girls and women who adore this series are now able to purchase easy-to-use eyeliner and mascara from Bandai's "Creer Beaute" line. Creer Beaute also has a line of beauty items (including face masks) inspired by the series Rose of Versailles, and another that includes nail polish fashioned after Fujiko Mine of Lupin the 3rd. The article makes special mention that Bandai was a huge success with girls in the past, especially with their Sailor Moon toys in the 90s. While they made some Sailor Moon themed cosmetics back then, it was "play makeup" and it was not the focus of their merchandise strategy. The company has shifted towards cosmetics just in the last year or so, but they have not stopped making toys entirely. This is also an innovative merchandising attempt to appeal to "big girls" (women over 30). The Creer Beaute site will also in the future feature beauty tips and videos on how best to use the makeup. Business analysts are predicting this to be a success for Bandai, and also admire their bravery for expanding into new market areas for their merchandise in a changing economy. This brand they say, is one to watch. We know that Sailor Moon in the beginning stages of the revival was lauded as something for two generations to watch, mothers and their daughters. While we still have no idea if there will be any new merchandise in Japan, we wonder if Bandai may consider Sailor Moon for their Creer Beaute line? It would fit right in with both generations!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PGSM - Fall 2010 Update

Keiko Kitagawa (PGSM Sailor Mars) has recently landed an endorsement for Knorr in Japan. The commercial (which is currently on the air in Japan) finds Kitagawa paired with Haruma Miura, and together they pitch a cup soup and bread meal. Keiko and Haruma represent different ways of enjoying the soup and bread - Keiko is for soaking the bread in the soup while Haruma is for dipping the bread in it. The official site is also taking a poll to determine which is the best way to enjoy the soup! Keiko fans will also want to know that she will be starring in a live action rendition of the popular manga series “Paradise Kiss”. Shooting for the film has included a surprise guest appearance at a fashion show, in which footage will be used in the movie. Keiko has also appeared in the remake of the classic French movie "Ascenseur pour l'echafaud", playing Mikayo Matusmoto, a character whose car is stolen during the movie. The movie saw a release date of October 9, and Kitagawa appeared alongside the rest of the cast for the movie premiere. Keiko described the movie as one of her most challenging roles, but found the overall results to be satisfying. On October 19th, Keiko started shooting a new commercial, in which she met an unidentified member of the PGSM production staff (on her blog entry, titled "It's Funny to Have This Happen", Keiko did not identify the member). Keiko received a warm welcome and great praise from the PGSM staff member for her continued evolution as an actress since her time playing Sailor Mars back in 2003. Keiko states in her entry that she felt confident during the shoot, and that she was not expecting to be in contact with this person after the end of PGSM (she was going to try to keep in contact with the staff member, however the two did not meet until this most recent commercial shoot). For a fun side story, Kitagawa has also been promoting Hello Kitty merchandise (and even appearing alongside Hello Kitty) in collaboration with fashion designer Samantha Thavasa. Keiko has been a fan of Hello Kitty since she was growing up, and she has stated that she has been having fun promoting the merchandise.

Aya Sugimoto (PGSM Queen Beryl) has also been busy lately - she has recently been promoting the DVD release of the American drama “Lipstick Jungle” (this is another series created by Sex and the City creator, Candace Bushnell). During the promotional event, Sugimoto participated in a question and answer session, which focused primarily on the relationships between men and women. In an interesting and controversial twist, Sugimoto stated during the question and answer session that no person should be committed to another person in a relationship, and she has no problems with cheating. She also stated that as long as one finds their perfect partner, that having fickle tastes in an relationship is okay. Sugimoto has also penned her autobiography in the last year - the book "Liberal Life" is currently available on Amazon. Fans of Sugimoto will find this book to be an intriguing read – she opens up about a suicide attempt at age 15, the separation of her own family, as well as her own problems with marriage and divorce. Sugimoto has described the writing process as being able to “free her heart” of the problems she has encountered in her life. Sugimoto has also revealed her plans to enter the world of cosmetics – fans will want to check out her new company called Liberata.

Mariko Tsutsui (Ami’s mother in PGSM) will be appearing as a minor character in a BeeTV television drama called “Sekai No Owari ni Saku Hana”. This drama is about a young couple who is suffering from kidney disease and are waiting for a transplant. Tsutsui has landed the role of Manami Yano, the mother of the boy who is suffering from the kidney ailment. The series has been running on television in Japan since September 20th, and a total of 12 episodes are planned to air.

Kaori Moriwaka (Ikuko Tsukino) was busy this summer promoting her J-Rock band the Go-Bangs. She recently performed at a function called Nexus: Battle 80’s”,“ which featured J-Rock bands from the 1980’s engaging in a head on battle. . She will also be rocking out on November 21st at "Nexus Respectable 80s" in Shibuya's C.C. Lemon hall in Tokyo. Tickets for this event have just gone on sale!

Jyoji Shibue (PGSM Tuxedo Kamen) has recently appeared in a new romantic comedy called “Miss Kurosawa”. In this movie (directed by Taku Watanabe), he falls in love with a female comedian – like most romantic comedies, the couple starts to get closer to each other until the inevitable setbacks occur. He plays himself in this movie (as does everyone else), a hunky actor who is a big fan of the comedian!This is definitely a movie for all you Shibby fangirls, and it is even an award winner! It won the top award at the 2nd annual Okinawa Film Festival! The movie opened on October 9th. The entire cast wore white tuxes and wedding dresses. All of the press surrounding this film is around the star Kazuko Kurosawa, and there has not been a lot heard from Shibby in the press. Earlier, Shibby noted that Kazuko was his complete opposite!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Level E Cast and Crew Announced, and More Details Revealed!

Various Japanese news outlets today are reporting that it has finally been announced in the latest issue of Shueisha's Jump Magazine that Yoshihiro Togashi's Level E manga is going to be adapted into a TV series (all we had known for sure before was that it was going to be an animated adaptation). As of this writing, we do not know if the 12-13 episode rumor is true. It will begin in January 2011 on TV Tokyo, and the cast and crew were also announced.


Director: Toshiyuki Kato (Directed Full Moon O Sagashite, and also worked storyboards for 8 episodes on Hunter X Hunter)
Series Composition: Jukki Hanada (Hanaukyo Maid Team La Verite, Sola)
Character Design and Animation Direction: Itsuko Takeda (Ghost in the Shell, Serial Experiments Lain)
Visual Concept and 3-D Direction: Yasufumi Soejima (Final Fantasy: Unlimited, Last Exile)
Music: Kunihiko Ryo (Story of Saiunkoku, Emma)
Animation Production: Pierrot x David Production


Prince: Daisuke Namikawa
Yukitaka Tsutsui: Yoshimasa Hosoya
Sado: Masaya Takatsuka
Miho Edogawa: Satomi Akesaka
Craft: Takehito Koyasu (played Kido in the Yu Yu Hakusho Movie)
Corinne: Takumi Asahina
Narration: Fumihiko Tachiki

And, as an extra special treat, readers also got to see the first images from the anime in a special 2-page spread in the magazine! We've featured this below.

Yoshihiro Togashi's Level E to be Animated!

Yoshihiro Togashi is best known to date for being two things: one, is being Naoko Takeuchi's husband, and two for being a legendary mangaka best known for Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter. Both have been animated into series and OAVs, and the Hunter X Hunter manga is still ongoing on a pretty unpredictable schedule. Between the end of the publication of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter was a manga called Level E. Comprised of 3 volumes (16 chapters), the story centers on Yukitaka Tsutsui. He is a freshman in high school who aspires to be the best baseball player that he can be. Upon moving into his apartment, there was a man there who claimed to be an alien who had lost his memory. Later, we learn that he is an alien prince and that while he may have all the brains and the smarts, he has the worst nature. Poor Yukitaka is the object of his torture! On Saturday October 23rd, at the Jump Super Anime Tour 2010, it was announced that an animated adaptation of Level E has been green lit for 2011. More details will be announced later, but all that the media has been reporting so far is that it will be animated by Studio Pierrot and David Production. Studio Pierrot has worked with Yoshihiro Togashi before, animating his epic Yu Yu Hakusho manga. David Production is a relatively new Japanese production studio founded by two producers formerly of Gonzo, Koji Kajita and Taito Okiura. They are best known for Soul Eater and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2. As of this writing, there have been no more details reported in the press, however one site is reporting that there has been a rumor of an announcement at MIPCOM of 12 or 13 episodes. MIPCOM ended earlier in October, and we found no such press release from Studio Pierrot or David Production announcing this (Studio Pierrot did exhibit at MIPCOM). The Level E manga has also just been released in paperbacks in Japan as well, featuring new afterwords from Togashi himself. We are going to treat this as a rumor for now pending further confirmation. Some of us have read parts of Level E and found the story to be great - we look forward to seeing what will come out of this next year!

Monday, November 08, 2010

On Toei Animation Co. Ltd's Recent Takedowns...

Hey Moonies,

We know that this is a tense time for all of us, hearing about the revival of Sailor Moon in other countries and listening as the rumor mill churns out endless slivers of hope.

We'd like to take a moment to talk about the current wave of rumors surrounding the takedown notices of various Sailor Moon related videos on youtube. However, in order to completely understand the situation we first need to understand how Toei Animation is organized.

The parent company in Japan is Toei Animation Co. LTD. This portion of the company, under that name, manages their properties primarily in Japan. There are also branches that operate in different regions of the world and manage the properties in those regions. In North America, the branch is located in California and is named Toei Animation Inc. A subtle, but important difference. This is the branch to watch for with regard to licensing deals in the US and Canada (along with most other English speaking countries). While Toei Animation Co. LTD. could be cited in press releases announcing licenses and other business ventured, they are not the ones actually dealing with the business deals for North American licenses.

All of the takedown notices that people have shown us have specifically come from Toei Animation Co. LTD. This means that this is the Japanese branch issuing the notice. And while they oversee the other branches, they won't have a direct hand in any licensing deals in the English market. Therefore, we hope the fans don't take this as any hint of a license for North America, because it really isn't. It is just a case of a company enforcing their copyrights.

It is very likely that these videos were found by matching video or audio segments from the anime. Such methods are popular because they can be automated, and the scripts that perform this tedious work can't distinguish parody from blatant copying. The same thing happens in every genre of entertainment on youtube. Videos stay up for long periods of time and suddenly disappear because they happen to have been found at last. DVDs are finally being re-released in Japan after a very long time, so Toei Animation has stepped up their game to get episodes removed in a bid to encourage fans to purchase the episodes either on DVD or through their Anime BB service.

Everyone also has to realize that Sailor Moon also has an image to be kept up. Toei Animation will be on the lookout for content utilizing Sailor Moon (as they will with all of their properties) that in their opinion doesn't portray it in the light that they would like it to be. While a video parody may be intended to mock the series humorously from the uploader's perspective, it may not be seen that way from the original copyright holder's perspective. If something happens to fit this bill, it will be targeted. And while parodies are legal, their legality falls within certain bounds. If Toei Animation (or any other company with any other property) doesn't approve of some use of their property, they can and will fight for their rights just as anyone else will. We suspect that this may be a second reason for at least some of the takedowns.

While hearing this may dismay some fans, we would encourage you to be careful with any use of Sailor Moon images, videos and audio clips until the end of the revival. And definitely, definitely do not try to profit from directly related Sailor Moon content, or you will be a sure-fire target. And once again, do not believe everything you hear without a press release (if we had a nickel for every time we have heard this from the companies involved when approaching them to confirm or deny a new rumor, we'd be rich). Let's show all the companies involved that the Sailor Moon fandom is mature and responsible and that we deserve our heroine back!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sailor Mercury's Shabon Spray Now Clear!

And Out From the Fog, We See The Right Karen Bernstein!

Karen Bernstein was the first actress to play Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon, and carried the role up until the end of the 3 movies. Since then, fans have been wondering where she had gone and if they would ever hear her voice again. Around the end of 2006, I had heard from various sources that she was no longer a voice actress and had moved into production. What sort of production field it was, remained a mystery to me. And then after much digging I came across a Karen Bernstein in 2007 that was a documentary producer. The shoe fit (so I thought), and this was confirmed by an old friend. Nearly 20 articles on Moon Chase went by without question. We went with it because 2008 was a very big year for Sailor Moon Voice Actor achievements (such as Stephanie "Sailor Venus" Morgenstern's Flashpoint). This Karen had produced a documentary called Body of War that year that was directed by Phil Donahue (yes, that Phil from that old talk show), and Ellen Spiro. It had received numerous awards and accolades, and had even gotten on the short list for a potential Oscar Nomination.

And then a few weeks ago I read something about this Karen that sounded a little strange and unsettling while doing a little research for a future actor update. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if this was still the same Sailor Mercury. After the many scandals we have had to endure this year, I went back to square one to recheck my research. Once again, I went through what little I knew about Karen, before I had begun writing about this documentary producer so many years ago. On a whim, I sent an email to someone I thought could steer me in the right direction, explaining what I thought was a mistake that needed to be cleared up.

This person replied to me, knows Karen directly and was able to confirm the mistake. They informed me that other sites had also made this error in the past, but have since cleared them up. Other information about Karen that I was told, is that she isn't voice acting because she has made the transition from voice acting to production. Karen is a radio and audio producer, and not a documentarian (at the very least, the previous information I had been given was partially correct). And for all you Hello Kitty fans, she has not been the voice of the beloved Sanrio character for several years now. It is also true that she suggested Liza Balkan audition for the role of Sailor Mercury after she was unable to play the role during the S and SuperS seasons due to her busy schedule. Liza is actually an actor colleague of hers. Karen's last voice acting role was that of Maggie in the cartoon based on those popular Fisher-Price toys, Little People, Big Discoveries. My source also said that Karen does not consider the voice acting door to be completely closed, so there is a chance that she may return to it in the future.

In light of this corrected information so we stay on topic on a blog which already has an extensive range of topics, we have removed all posts and mentions of the incorrect Karen Bernstein on our blog. However, if our readers are looking to watch any good, thought-provoking documentaries on a variety on meaningful issues, please continue to support the other Karen Bernstein. We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we will continue to strive to bring you everything we can in the Sailor Moon world. And of course, a heartfelt apology to both Karen Bernsteins for the mixup - this will never happen again, and we're very sorry it did. It was a very surprising coincidence to learn that the both of you are producers, and that one tiny fact was the reason for this mistake.

Fans can check out some of Karen's old voice work on the internet below. These also featured other actors that would later act in Sailor Moon!

"Beverly Hills Teens" - a very old cartoon from the 80s about wealthy teenagers living in Beverly Hills. Kinda like The Hills without the annoyance factor! Karen played Jett and Tara Belle in this series.

"Birdz!" An animated cartoon about feathered friends just trying to make it in this world. Karen played Olivia Owl in this series!

"Maggie's Friends Pitch In" - an episode of Little People, Big Discoveries (Karen's very last voice role, fast forward to 5:15)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Magic Lessons Dark Kingdom Fanart Contest

This contest is being run by Kir-tat on deviantART. Kir-tat (or Tata) is a Russian artist who often creates detailed fanart digital paintings of the Dark Kingdom villains from Sailor Moon. Feel free to browse through her Dark Kingdom works in her deviantART gallery, to get an idea of her style. There are a few pages of work to browse through, and we think many of our readers will be impressed!
We are advertising Kir-tat's contest because we think our readers may be interested in participating (or at least seeing the results!).

Note: The information below is largely the contest details written by Kir-tat in her deviantART journal.

The themes of her contest are magic lessons or show me magic. These themes suggest various scenarios – serious, romantic, or humorous. You can interpret and understand the theme freely, your imagination is not limited by anything, save for a few rules...

The Rules:
  • You must include at least one of the following five characters: Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, Kunzite, Beryl (from Sailor Moon).
  • Anime (or manga) version of the character(s), not live-action.
  • You can also include any other SailorMoon/original/other series characters.
  • Drawings done in any media and style are accepted – realistic or manga, traditional or digital...
  • Works that will not be accepted: collages, copies or tracings, old images (that were not made for the contest), works that would hurt someone's feelings, and other works that would break the rules established by deviantArt.
  • No more than 3 works from one author
  • Contest pieces should be posted in your DA gallery and links submitted as comments to Kir-tat's journal entry about the contest.
  • Submitted pieces will be added to Kir-tat's journal entry about the contest as they are received (and as she has time).
  • All works will afterwards be published on a special contest page of the site (Kir-tat's website), with links to the contestants' pages.
  • Kir-tat will be picking the winners. Personal favoritism is not possible, in fact she hopes her firends will help her with the judging. So don't be shy about participating and good luck everyone!
  • Last day for submission: December 20th, 2010
  • The results will be published no later December 27th, 2010

1st place – Kir-tat's artbook (see image on the right) + a surprise (she will mail to any part of the world, but only after the 10th of January)
2nd place – coloring of your sketch/lineart (1-2 characters)
3rd place – coloring of your sketch/lineart (1 character)

Character info:
Reference info
Screenshots by Stayka

Just in case:
in Russian fandom, the demons are often believed to have the following magic: Jadeite - demon of Dreams and Illusions, Nephrite - demon of Stars and Destinies, Zoisite - demon of Fire and Wind, Kunzite - demon of Ice and Chaos. You are not required to use this information, but perhaps it will inspire someone. And if you like, you can comment on the journal entry about the contest to connect with other contest entrants.

And here's the cover for her artbook, featuring the four generals:

We hope our readers enjoy Kir-tat's artwork and encourage our artistic readers to consider entering the contest. We will definitely be keeping an eye on the results!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Breaking News: A True Story Screening at the Los Angeles Comedy Festival

We've previously reported on Stephanie Beard appearing in A True Story... Based on things that never actually happened...And some that did. On November 7th, fans can catch a screening at the Los Angeles Comedy Festival. Everyone is welcome, this festival is open to the public. The film will be screening at 8:30pm at the Famous ACME Comedy Theater in Hollywood, which is located at 135 N. La Brea avenue in Los Angeles.

Here is the Facebook event page put together by Team Awesome Films & 1st Team Entertainment for the screening. On the event page you can find the trailer, the website for the movie, and how to purchase tickets to the screening. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Fans can also post any questions about the event to the wall on the event page.

Please keep in mind that there are some mature themes in this movie, so we only recommend it for our older readers.

If you can attend the screening, we'd love to hear about it!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Lima Fans Get a Triple Shot of Sailor Moon at Otakufest!

This past weekend marked Lima, Peru’s biggest anime convention, Otakufest. Fans of Sailor Moon were treated to not one, but three voice actors from the Mexican/Latin American dub of Sailor Moon! Patricia Acevedo (Sailor Moon), Cristina Hernandez (Sailor ChibiMoon) and Rossy Aguirre (Sailor Mercury). For the first time ever, the three of them were together at a special panel on October 31st. Fans may also be surprised that within these three lies an even bigger connection from Sailor Moon to The Simpsons other than that famous opening from just a few years ago . Patricia played Lisa Simpson from 1990-2005, but was fired from the series due to the dubbing studio's policy on union actors at the end of the 15th season. Patricia did dub that particular episode, and this also makes her the only actress to have been in both Sailor Moon and that episode of The Simpsons parodying our hero! If any of our readers were able to attend Otakufest, please share with us what happened!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: GP Publishing Considering More Sailor Moon?

Just hours ago, the Sailor Moon manga was revealed to the public at Lucca Comics and Games in Italy. While details are just starting to surface in the press, one item piqued are interest! The Italian manga and anime community Nanoda reports that one of the representatives at the presentation from GP Publishing (it was either Francesco Meo or Baboni Luca) said that depending on the success of Sailor Moon, GP may decide to publish the artbooks. Looking at how successful Sailor Moon is already in Italy, we think that the manga should have no trouble selling (our Italiano Moonies are going to purchase all of them, right?). The two representatives also thanked Mediaset's Fabrizio Margaria for their revival of the series, and both made special mention of how well the show is doing in the ratings since it began broadcast on Italia 1 in August. Fabrizio also mentioned again that this current broadcast also has significantly less censorship than the first broadcast many years ago. We will be keeping an eye out on the news in the next few days for what else happened at this presentation!

Friday, October 29, 2010

How Many Moonies Will There Be on Halloween?

We here at Moon Chase believe cosplay is just as good on Halloween as it is at conventions, and that you are never too old to have fun dressing up on Halloween! Are you dressing up as Sailor Moon for Halloween? Are you carving a pumpkin with a design related to Sailor Moon? Are you putting your Sailor Moon dolls in Halloween costumes for display (or using them in your house as part of Halloween decor)? Do you have any special Sailor Moon Halloween memories from when you were younger? We here at Moon Chase would like to share your Sailor Moon Halloween photos with the rest of our readers! Send us an email at with your photos and a description of your work by Wednesday November 3rd, and we will have them up on the site by the end of next week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Sailor Moon Manga to be Previewed at Italian Expo!

In Lucca, Italy, there is a very interesting event happening in just a matter of days. Lucca Comics and Games is an annual expo that both functions as a pop culture convention, as well as a trade show for companies. Fans attending will get to have a small taste of what it is like to be at much bigger media market events such as MIPCOM when they go through the trade show venues! At this event, editors and publishers will be making presentations about upcoming titles and franchises. The new Sailor Moon manga will be making its debut at Lucca Comics and Games 2010 on Sunday, October 31st at 2PM at the Plaza Ducale. The "King of Sailor Moon Licensing" in Italy, Fabrizio Margaria (Program Director at Mediaset), will be on hand for the big reveal. We hope that our Italian readers will be out there in full force in their Sailor Moon cosplay to let us know how it goes! Buona fortuna Sailor Moon - all of us want to see you continue to succeed!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Update on the Situation Involving the Impostor

Hey Moonies, Sailordees here with a major update, which we are posting to you all since there’s been some buzz that we are neglecting the site. There is a VERY big reason why I and The Me have not been able to do much – and that is, the infamous impostor. Earlier this summer, we received a tip from someone who knew of the impostor. This person could not believe what the impostor did, and they passed on an important contact to someone who they thought might be able to help us. We got this contact last June while we were still speaking with the impostor, who at the time had told us several times that he had told the woman in the photo what had happened, but came up with every excuse in the book as a reason for why he could not tell her how to remove the images. In July, he ran away from the situation once again leaving his mess for us to clean up. We must have gotten those images removed from 6-7 different sites over the summer. They were not our images, we didn’t own them, but once we presented that we had evidence to some of these sites of Jamie’s ownership and his pleas to get them down, they were removed. This tired us out (and we are pretty sure it tired out the representative of Linda Ballantyne as well).

In the beginning of September, the impostor struck again with fake profiles on both Facebook and Windows Live, and strained for time, we were forced to take action again. Once again, we worked hard with her representative to get these images removed, and we tried again and again to contact the impostor to take ownership since it should have been his responsibility to clean up his mess. Again, he refused to get back to us. We got the profiles removed, but there were still two images of the blonde in question available on the internet. The Me and I have been working together as a team on this – he has been writing the letters to the hosts etc. to get the images removed and I have been in contact with all the other important people in this matter.

We had decided a month ago to act on this tip from someone who knew of the impostor and sent several emails to the contact. On October 4th, we finally got an email back from this contact saying that he had spoken to the impostor about what he had done, and that that we were to contact him with all the places that needed to contacted and that he would ensure that the action would be taken. We also feel that we (as well as the fans, and everyone else involved) were lied to. The blonde woman in his photos was (as we guessed) his mother, and this was the first she was hearing of this. Nearly a year after all of this began. We cannot imagine her grief at this time, having only learned small glimpses of the situation. The tone of the email emphasized with our situation, and feeling for his mother, I spent a few hours one night writing a personal ten page letter to her outlining everything that her son had done, how we found him, details on our dealings with the representatives of both actresses implicated by this scandal, and how this had affected our site. I also included excerpts of emails where he lied claiming he had spoken to her about the images, but had refused to pass on any contacts to get them removed. We knew that he was lying then, because what sort of person in this day and age wouldn’t want their personal images removed from the internet? While I didn’t suggest what happened to him, I ended the letter hoping that those around him would ensure that he had learned his lesson, so he would not do something like this again (or if he did, that he would take responsibility to clean up his own mess).

Well, now we feel duped. We must have worked to get rid of content related to this little prank on around ten websites. We had started fraud requests on one of the two images, and we had passed on the relevant ticket numbers to the impostor to write a simple message saying that he owned the image and it needed to be taken down. He never did, because we never saw his messages added to our service ticket. Fortunately, our records of everything that happened as well as relevant emails from the impostor taking ownership of what had happened were enough to remove this image. But, there is still one left and they will probably want the real owner to come forward. We will try to get this image removed this week, but once again we feel that we have failed everyone involved by not getting this taken care of fast enough. Again, we would really appreciate some sort of sign from anyone involved with the impostor that he has sent a message to the very last host of the image.

It is because we consider Linda Ballantyne and every other voice actor that we have dealt with an extended member of our Moon Chase “family”, as well as how heartfelt we felt for the woman in the photos, that we continued to fight to get these images removed so that Linda could be identified with the correct face, and not that of another woman. We don’t like to see our friends get hurt, and we will do everything we can for them. While we have not heard back from the woman in the photos, we can only imagine that she would really appreciate it if anyone who has either posted or saved an image of her to their machines or websites would delete them and destroy all copies of her image. Remember this little rhyme:

If Linda is Blonde,
you’ve been conned!
But no one can forget,
that the real Linda is a brunette!

as a general rule when trying to decide if an image you see associated with her name is legitimate or not. One of the reasons that we are trying to remove every image is so that people don’t see them and spread them around even more – then we can directly point any new ones that show up back to the source of the images (the impostor).

We would also like to thank the reader (who chooses not to be identified) for getting us this contact, which we hesitated to act on until the situation got desperate. We were worried that we would be turned down like we had been so many times before in trying to resolve this situation. Without your help, this woman might have never known that her image had been spread on the internet without her consent. We thank you for being brave enough to contact us and help us in our time of need.

To our colleagues, the representatives of the actress, and especially the fans, we sincerely appreciate you sticking by us every ugly moment of this scandal, and we once again promise that we will never, ever, let this happen to our site ever again. There are times that we feel our reputation has suffered as a result of this prank that was played, but reading your words of support and kindness have always meant the world to us.

To the impostor – what you have done was very cowardly and despicable. You lied to everyone around you about contacting the woman in these photos, and we only hope that you felt ashamed when she found out about your pranks months later. You have forced us to waste precious time to clean up your mess, while you continue to go on with your life happily. Have you learned your lesson, finally? Or will you do this again in another couple of years?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Sailordees!

Hey Moonies!

Today I'd like to take a moment to wish Sailordees a very happy birthday, and I hope you'll all do the same!

Without our brilliant Editor-in-Chief, this blog simply wouldn't exist. She gives her all to bring you guys Sailor Moon news from every corner of the globe, and I count myself extremely lucky to be able to work beside her. Her passion for Sailor Moon is unrivaled by anyone I've met, is the driving force that motivates us all.

Please join me in saying:

Happy Birthday Sailordees!

Sorry, I can't actually tell you how old she is. It's a secret. XP

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Of NYAF and Bootlegs

Unfortunately, coverage of New York Anime Fest didn't pan out so well this year- namely because your friendly neighborhood Sailor Venus-obsessed blogger kind of got ill during the con and had to leave early in the weekend. Nevertheless, I did attend the con for a few hours, and have a few tidbits to share that may be of interest to the Moonie faithful.

First of all, if you've read any coverage of this con at all on other sites, then you've already read that NYAF basically got absorbed into the New York Comic Con. In retrospect, it should have been obvious that this was going to be the case, since NYCC is simply a much bigger con, however it's still kind of frustrating when you're looking for Sailor Moon cosplayers and everyone seems to be dressed as either Slave Leia or one of the Ghostbusters. While it's generally assumed that combining the two cons was financially smarter, for selfish reasons I miss the old NYAF; the con where walking three steps was not actually a half-hour project requiring serious planning. There were just too many darned people there.

There was no Sailor Moon panel (which, on the plus side, at least means that I didn't MISS the Sailor Moon panel), and I didn't see nearly as much Sailor Moon stuff at the vendors as I did at Otakon, although it's not really a fair comparison for several obvious reasons. Still, I did pick up a few cool SM-items from the few anime-themed vendors, and heard more than one person say "OMG I love Sailor Moon!" upon seeing a plush doll of the Odangoed One herself, so it wasn't a total loss.

Other than the great Sailor Moon up top, these were the only two other SM cosplayers I saw during my brief time at the con. While I feel bad that I wasn't around to capture more cosplayers, if the other galleries I've seen are any indication, there just wasn't a whole lot of SM cosplay going on *sniff.*

Note to those planning on going to NYAF/NYCC in the future (assuming the idea of being packed in like sardines with tens of thousands of your favorite comic fans of dubious personal hygiene doesn't scare you away), know this: NYAF is much looser on the bootleg situation than Otakon is.

I saw a bunch of Moon Cat plushies in about five different colors, including pink and lime green, but NONE of which were the right color to be Luna, Artemis, or Diana. Maybe there's a lime green cat in the manga...wait, how would we know? Naturally, I also saw bootleg DVDs of American TV shows and things- not a lot of them, but it still surprised me. Maybe the con is now just too big to police?

I actually thought that this was a bootleg as well, but Sailordees corrected me: that's right, "Sailor Cute" is legit!

I also got some SM trading cards that apparently came from vending machines in Japan which I believe are also legit:

Yaaay, tiny work-safe Sailor Moon art for my office! And as an added bonus, plenty of Minako!

So, all in all, a bit of an underwhelming con experience for me this time around, but hey, I now have my very own SAILOR CUTE. And I think that's special.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chibi-Moonie Clothing Revealed!

Hey, Moonies! You may remember a recent article where we tabulated who was making what in Italy...well, the first pieces of merchandise are starting to surface. Italian Brands has just released their licensed apparel catalog for this season which features Sailor Moon! The line is all designed for young girls and is mainly tracksuits, sweatsuits and other activewear. The main color palette consists of navy blue, hot pink, white, mauve, and gray, and a lone green bandana. The line appears to be mainly cotton and/or jersey fabrics, which most moms know are kid friendly in the wash and wear department. We kinda wish that some of the shirts had some glittery shimmer accents to them.

Fans can visit Italian Brands' site here, choose either English or Italian then click 'Brands' and finally click the Sailor Moon logo! These are scans of the actual catalog leaves, so the scanned pages are out of order. We are putting them in order for you below.

This kind of catalog acts as a showcase for stores so that buyers can choose what products they want to order. It is important to remember that these are prototypes at this point and the final products to hit stores might end up being a bit different.

It's still exciting to see merchandise hit this stage of development and it gives us hope for the future of Sailor Moon around the world!


Sailor Moon Industry News Europe: Fall 2010 Update

A lot has been going on with Sailor Moon in Europe in the last months, so let's catch up on the situation in the Moon Kingdom!

First, let's start off with some only-interesting-to-some-and-boring-to-others industry briefs. Toei Animation Europe (TAE) has been exhibiting at lots of different places, and is not letting the work of their brand licensors go unnoticed. At the first of these appearances at Brand Licensing Europe 2010, the animation giant hosted a special event where they handed out three awards honoring companies that they have worked with in the past year with the most success. Winning for Best Licensing Program was Backstage Licensing of Italy for their work with Sailor Moon. Best Promotion went to TFI Enterprises of France for their work with all the Dragon Ball franchises, and Best Involvement went to Plus Licens of Sweden for their work with all the Dragon Ball franchises as well as One Piece. Kanji Kazahaya, President and COO of TAE was grateful, saying: "We are very delighted to start with this first edition of Toei Animation awards for our European brokers... as a Japanese company, it is a great time to share our motivation and challenges with our European partners." We are so happy to hear of Toei Animation's continued successes in Europe! Next, they appeared at Hyper Japan in London from October 1st-3rd, and exhibited their Toei Animation Theatre where for the first time in years Sailor Moon was shown officially in English! Not the dub though. The first episode was shown with English subtitles alongside the first episode of Pretty Cure and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 (also subtitled). We are officially jealous of our London readers who got to attend the screening! And if that wasn't enough, TAE also exhibited their properties at MIPCOM in Cannes, France from October 4th-8th. TAE did not exhibit at MIPJr. this year (a showcase just for childrens programming).

Sailor Moon continues to leave everyone in her moondust in Italy! Backstage Licensing reports that Sailor Moon has peaks of viewers nearing the 1 million mark, and an average market share of around 9% (if the words "market share" confuse you, read our article from last week). What surprised us the most was reading about the girls' 4-14 demographic in Italy (preschoolers, young kids, and tweens) where the article said that Sailor Moon was maintaining a strong appeal with a share close to 40%! Once again, odango-atama/meatball head continues to defy industry expectations.Not bad for an "old show" that is proving to be a timeless classic. Everyeye Italy pointed to a new interview on the Metal Robot Forums with Carlo Cavazzoni, Executive Director of Dynit Italy, which will be releasing Sailor Moon on DVD. Here, is a translation of the Sailor Moon portion of the interview:

METALROBOT: The following questions discuss the issues of the series "Sailor Moon".

METALROBOT: The news of the acquisition of the home video rights for the series "Sailor Moon" has now been confirmed through Dynit's website. Why was a series like this chosen to be added to the Dynit Catalog?

Dynit: The brand was relaunched on an international level, and there are many companies involved in this project in Italy, Dynit Home Video has acquired the rights for the traditional channels (video stores, comics, etc ...). It is a series that has been very successful, and which we hope will conquer a new generation.

7. Was the aquisition of the rights for this series complicated? How did it happen that for a long time, years, the sale of the rights of the series for foreign countries was blocked?

Dynit: We do not know what the motivations were, it often depends on the rights situation in Japan. Sometimes, just to boost yourself up you need to disappear for a long time.

8. METALROBOT: Can you reveal a few more details in type? Will the releases cover all of the series and movies?

Dynit: It will cover the television series.

METALROBOT: Will the releases have a redub or will there only be the original dub with subtitles faithful to the original series?

Dynit: We did not expect to redub the series, we acquired the home video rights of the original dub. The series will be unedited in its entirety, we are now working with subtitles.

METALROBOT: When will the releases be listed for sale on the home video market?

Dynit: We plan to release them in early 2011, in singles and DVD boxsets.

Fans in Italy who were expecting a redub, it appears that there will not be one. We are most surprised reading that the movies will not be re-released with the series. If we remember correctly, the fans loved the movies just as much as the series?! Here is hoping that there will be some hope for releases of the movies in the future. We were irked by Cavazzoni's comment about disappearing just for attention - this really wasn't the case at all. This is almost like all the rumors we read about Yoshihiro Togashi only going on hiatus to get attention for Hunter X Hunter. We can understand feigning off interviewers for keeping the real reason for the rights disappearing under wraps, but to say something like this even in the independent press, is pretty low.